The Toronto Maple Leafs need to trade for Marc-Andre Fleury if they want to have any chance at winning a Stanley Cup this year.
It’s no secret anymore. The Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending is awful and it doesn’t look like it’s getting better any time soon.
If you take goaltending out of the equation, this is one of the most talented teams in Leafs history.
The team’s first line is arguably the best in the league right now. Auston Matthews is probably going to win the Hart Trophy and Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, Mitch Marner could score 100 points, while Michael Bunting is on pace to score 30 goals and maybe even win the Calder Trophy.
As you continue down the line-up, John Tavares and William Nylander are point-per-game players, Alex Kerfoot has been a fantastic swiss-army knife and the team’s third line can actually produce offense.
The addition of David Kampf and Ondrej Kase were perfect moves for the third line, while Jason Spezza has double-digit goals once again playing fourth line minutes at 38-years-old.
Although many think the Leafs need an upgrade at defense, their defensive-pairings have actually been pretty good this season. Morgan Rielly and T.J.Brodie are legit top-four defenseman, while Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren have been exceptional thus far as “rookies.”
The addition of Ilya Lyubushkin has increased this team’s toughness in front of the net and once Jake Muzzin returns from injury, they will have a pretty strong six-man unit. Sure, the team could upgrade Travis Dermott and Justin Holl at the NHL Trade Deadline for a more experience player, but it’s not what this team desperately needs.
What they need is goaltending.
Toronto Maple Leafs Must Trade for Marc Andre-Fleury
It all depends on whether or not Fleury would accept a trade to Toronto, but if he’s willing to play for the Leafs, Kyle Dubas needs to trade for him immediately.
It’s hard to believe that Jack Campbell was an NHL All-Star only a few months ago, but now that he’s injured and Petr Mrazek is struggling, the Leafs must upgrade their goaltending, and who better to acquire than a player who’s been to five Stanley Cup Finals?
If Toronto adds Fleury, it doesn’t mean that Campbell will automatically be benched for the remainder of the season. Instead, it will give the Leafs more insurance when the playoffs start, as either goaltender could be the one who starts any given playoff game.
Fleury has been in this situation before, multiple times. He was recently in a tandem situation with Robin Lehner in Vegas, but more famously, when he shared time with Matt Murray on-route to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships.
Fleury understands that two goaltenders can help a team win a Stanley Cup, so this wouldn’t be like trading for Martin Brodeur in his prime and asking him to split time with Campbell, which is an important thing to remember.
Fleury is making $7M right now, but if Chicago retains 50% of the contract, it’s an easy math situation to work out. Based on the report above by Pierre LeBrun, a trade like this could get the job done to acquire him:
- Toronto Maple Leafs acquire: Marc-Andre Fleury
- Chicago Blackhawks acquire: 2022 1st Round Pick, 2023 4th Round Pick, Alex Steeves and Petr Mrazek
Sure, this is a lot to give up for a player who may only play for this team for three months, but it’s worth the risk to acquire good goaltending.
With 162 playoff games of experience, Fleury has a career 2.53 GAA and .912 SV%, which includes 16 shut-outs (stats: hockeyreference.com).
That type of goaltending is all Toronto needs in order to compete for a Stanley Cup this spring. They can’t rely on Petr Mrazek or Jack Campbell to turn into their old-selves, but instead need a veteran who can get the job done.
Since there are only a few other teams in the NHL that could use Fleury’s services right now, Toronto has a great chance at acquiring him and they should do everything they can to make the deal now.